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A large capsule that would be dropped from an airplane with a person or two in it, which would have a built in oxygen tank that runs oxygen through a tube to the persons face. And there would be a large parachute built in at the top (and a secondary emergency chute), and thick cushioning on the floor
of the interior with thinner cushioning on the walls.
Or an individual capsule could be constructed for a single person. It would have a suspension seat that you strap into, and some cushioning on the bottom.
These capsules would have windows in them (if pressure will allow for it), so that you can see the view.
The parachute might be deployed automatically after a set time from when the capsul is dropped, or at a certain altitude by an altimeter. And it would have an emergency manual deployment system as well.
People might be able to use these without any real training.
After each use: the parachute would be repacked, and the oxygen tank would be refilled if there is low pressure. The capsule would then be placed back into the airplane, ready to be dropped again.
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||so you mean something exactly like that module astronauts used to use that would land in the ocean somewhere (i'm sure someone knows the name) I am not sure exactly what the point of this would be, if you wanted to jump without training the military does it all the time... your tethered to the plane and the chute is opened when you run out of line
||Quick! Join the Mile High (and dropping) Club!
||Sorta baked in Starship Troppers, except for the windows and comfort and whatnot. Pretty cool.
||There are some problems with this.
||First, an automatic parachute opener on
a capsule is going to be not much safer
than an AAD (automatic activation
device) on a regular parachute.
||Second, you kind of want somebody to
steer the 'chute once it opens.
||Third, this would not be that exciting.
After the first five seconds or so, the
capsule is going to reach terminal
velocity. At that point, it is going to be
very much like standing in a small room
- no weightlessness, no sensation of
falling, and not even the exhileration of
a 120mph breeze going past you.
||The main kick would be the 2-4
seconds of effective weightlessness at
the beginning of the drop, as the
capsule accelerates. But this you could
get much more easily from a ground-
based ride. You can do a tandem jump
without any training, if you like.
||[EDIT WHEN SOBER: christ I'm a
miserable naysayer, aren't I? OK, it
would be fun. Impractical but fun. How
about a giant, helicopter-suspended
bungee instead of parachutes though?
||Being a solid capsule, it could be very aerodynamic, giving a very high terminal velocity and longer free-fall time. But then free-falling strapped into a box wouldn't be that exciting.
Option: Deployable wings to allow much gliding after reaching terminal velocity - becomes high altitude, long range person transport.